Monday, 4 November 2013

Obnoxious List Building 3: TauDar 1850

As discussed yesterday, it's time to see what some of the tougher builds are in the ever-changing 40k environment right now.
There were a couple of key components that made an "Obnoxious" build - one that you feel you really will struggle to get the upper hand with. These were:
Long Range Effective
This on top of the other components of a competitive army make for a truly obnoxious (read: unpleasant wanker) army.
Today, we will discuss TauDar.
Tau Primary and Eldar Allied.
We go this way around because the Tau have some excellent and points efficient units and frankly, we only want a couple of components from the Eldar.

After the jump, I'll break it down into the 3 distinct areas and discuss why and how I feel this list is ....Obnoxious.

Let's deal with the Long Range Effective. This builds the core of our offensive capability in turn 1, the ability to reach out and really but the hurt on the opponent. This is not a new concept, except for some time..quite a significant portion of the 1st year of 6th Ed., people ran a huge volume of troops and a lot of the time, on foot. This resulted in huge armies taking to the tabletop and the usefulness of high strength, low AP weaponry declining tremendously due to their traditionally low rate of fire. Tau changed this design philosophy with high rate of fire at medium to long strength & range on relatively mobile platforms. Time to duck back into vehicles as they typically carried stronger weapons too to deal with the Broadsides, Riptides and Hammerhead chassis (typically now Skyrays, but Longstrike enjoyed a brief period of usefulness).
So on began the movement to more "5th-recognisable" lists....and now here we are discussing a resoundingly 5th Ed. concept.
Riptides and Skyrays are the core here.
A Riptide clocks in at just 190 with Interceptor, Ion MuthaFucka Cannon and either SMS or Fusion. Im a fan of SMS tbh but that's just cause of Eldar Jetbikes...
Take 3.
These can overcharge or NOVA Charge to large blasts at S8/9 AP2. This helps us to take care of Screamer Councils, Farsight Bombs, Wave Serpents etc. This also eradicates Broadsides, Oblits, can hurt Land Raiders etc.
It also has a massive range. Speaking of....
3 Skyrays are just 116 points each and can shoot their unlimited range jackass missiles all over the board. 6 S8 AP3 missiles..yes please.
Add in the Buff Commander Tau boss and one of these Riptides is now SUPER effective.
Grab an Eldar Farseer on a jetbike and have him join a Riptide for safety.. you can now Guide one Riptide and Prescience the 3rd. This means all of your Riptides MuthaFucka Cannons are now twin linked. One of them also benefits from Tank Hunting and Ignores Cover too.
Depending on the results of the Skyray shooting, you can also grab boosted BS or Ignores Cover for the other Riptides.
The final element of the Long Range Effective element is up to you. I like one of 2 things here - a Wraithknight (stock) or a unit of 7 Dark Reapers with an Exarch - Fast Shot.
This then means that vs Bikers you will rape a unit per turn with the Reapers as well as potentially another couple with Riptides. It also reduces your vulnerability to Grav spam by NOT having a 4th Monstrous Creature with a boss save.. on the other hand, their Reaper armour means they will be wounded just as easily lol.
Remember the Farseer also had another roll.. you could spunk that on Divination in an attempt to grab Perfect Timing for your dudes as well to get more Ignores Cover.

Hyper Mobile?
Outflanking Kroot are mobile, but certainly not "Hyper"  - the issue with these guys is, when they come in, they are by and large limited to about a 24" area around their entry position. This is assuming they have come in early to mid game. Come in late and that's even better.
So they are a decent option, but certainly not hyper-moibile.
That's once again where the Eldar allies come in and we just grab 2 units of 3 Guardian Jetbikes.
These guys can move 48" per turn and will be superb objective grabbers.
It should be noted that the textbook use of Jetbikes in such small numbers as denial and objective grabbing units really does mean that the TauDar player wants to go 2nd and not actually first. So there is a degree of juxtaposition within these ideas. However, we can't be perfect all the time and the Bikes will have to be used at the end of the game when hopefully, there is not much left of the enemy to retaliate.
Add in 3 Riptides as well for 4D6" NOVA jet pack moves in the final turns of the game and we can see that like many Tau lists, good ones anyway, Tau win objectives by denying you yours rather than outright claiming.
The final element is of course the Eldar Farseer on his Jetbike. This bitch is more often than not found rocking the Mantle of the Laughing God so that he has a 2+ cover save which he rerolls. It also provides hit and run for added mobility if required.
Now, the Reapers could be exchanged for a Wraithknight adding more mobility, but actually I think they add a different dimension that is not covered elsewhere in the Tau book.. massed S8/AP3 shots or lots of S5/AP3 shots.

Riptides with a 2+/5++ up to 3++. Times 3, maximising their range advantages.
Three AV13 hulls again at the limits of their 36" range (a lot of the time we want these guys to be in cover but aggressive so that they can support with Markerlights - bear in mind though that the twin-linking and Ignores Cover means the army is less reliant than other Tau armies on Markerlight support to be effective) or if strong retaliation looks likely, anywhere on the board with cover and LoS.
The Reapers are the odd ducks here in that they only have a 48" range but can move and fire. So they too can play the range card. We can also throw the Buff Commander up front of these guys to tank saves and to make them TL, IC, Tank/MC Hunters. Which makes them lethal.
It is also possible that we can get Invisibility or Fortune for them. Not to be planned on though.
Though reserves, placement and movement the troops are resilient. Not in the traditional fashion because that would be a lie! However, they can utilise the gifts they have to stay alive, the EGJB units in particular.
I would perhaps like a Wave Serpent for the Reapers, but it is too expensive to get it in, in terms of the use of this army.

Elephant in the room.....
This army is built around being able to maximise its ranges and put significant damage down range for a couple of turns, especially when going first.
But therein lies the rub.
There is no way to ensure that this army does in fact go first.
It relies purely on luck. It does most of its damage to the other obnoxious lists by going first and smashing them into the ground.
So what happens to a concept army like this when it goes second?
The use of maximal range keeps this army ticking for a turn. The fact that all the elements in the army can and will operate as guerrilla individuals if required means it can spread out around the board, keeping at arms length where possible the enemy that seeks to close with it and in the final stages, contests en masse across the board.
No plan survives contact though.
The resiliency and mobility of the army keep it ticking over and the offensive capability still works when going second. The Screamer Council is a tough one when going second though as they have their powers up. Keep away, kill the other stuff. Versus the Eldar Serpents the Tau have the range, versus other Tau...depends on the build but that could be a real issue. If they rock a Mirror match...well that's not easy is it.. but then the S8 is less useful against 2+ save and Av13 in cover, will certainly be out of Markerlight range in that situation.
Against many of the other lists the concept is the same, use range and natural resiliency to stay alive.

Let's recap the list for today then:

Tau Commander - MSSS, C&C Node, Iridium Armour, Puretide Chip (as a base, if you have points whack em on! Start with VRR, Onager Gauntlet, Neuroweb in that order.)
Eldar Farseer - Jetbike (Mantle of the Laughing God or Shard of Anaris optional at 40 points each)
Riptide - Ion, SMS, Interceptor
Riptide - Ion, SMS, Interceptor
Riptide - Ion, SMS, Interceptor 
10 Kroot - Hound
10 Kroot - Hound
10 Kroot - Hound 
3 Eldar Jetbikes
3 Eldar Jetbikes
Skyray - BSF, SMS
Skyray - BSF, SMS
Skyray - BSF, SMS
7 Dark Reapers, Smash! Missiles, Exarch - Fast Shot

If you have points left grab more Hounds for the Kroot.
You could go Sniper Rounds, but frankly that needs dedicated markerlight support.. maybe the commander could join them..
The other options to keep it more points efficient are:
- 3 War Walkers with 2 Bright Lances each  for a low AP replacement...arguably more mobile and with BF/5++/range just as survivable & 6 Swooping Hawks for more troop killing mobility.
- Wraithknight
- Change a Skyray for a Broadsides unit maxed out with Markerlight Drones in place of the Reapers - different kind of fire support and improves on of the Riptides no end.
- 5 Piranhas for fast anti infantry and blocking with multiple units.. this is a decent way of slowing down and getting in the way of other super killy units, allowing yours to operate a little better. You also get to grab a unit of Pathfinders as well and the Swooping Hawks....more emphasis on mobility there and on anti infantry.

So there we go, this is what I consider to be quite a lethal army and as you can see, with some slight tweaks in the Reaper points can be equipped differently to smash other kinds of shit if you're not seeing the same kinda stuff in your meta as I think I am.

Let me know what you think about this list and the whole 'Obnoxious List' concept...


  1. Nice. Will steal for a test run! Bit 'spammy' for me, but I like the ideas.
    What about a couple of wave serpents? Elite and Heavy maybe?

  2. Hey dude,
    You totally could add some serpents to the mix - one for the Reapers is defo an option. Trouble is you'd then have to TAKE Elites! These tend to be pretty damn expensive for what they do, so I'd be wary of that. I guess you could grab a second in the Troops section with a 5 man DAVU unit... leave you with just one Jetbike squad, which of course has its uses...but perhaps it'd be better to grab 2 DA units in troops and 2 serpents there. It's quite a lot of points though mate... try it out for sure!

  3. This on top of the other components of a competitive army make for a truly obnoxious (read: unpleasant wanker) army.

    I might get a complex! you should know why!.

    I still prefer putting the buff mander with the reaper star, of course depends on opponent but not much can handle that many ap3 shots, either str5 or str8. Riptides do give very nice additions to the eldar army, long ranged low ap shooting, something eldar lack imo, they can spam long range ap5+ shots but cannot do that with ap2 other then a few bright lances here and there.

    I do also like the reapers in the WS for turn 1 protection and being able to disembark 6 inches and with a 48inch range there isnt much that can out distance you. Giving the reapers monster hunter means though WK's will be feelign the pain, riptides should be a target for your triptides, tank hunter means you should be glancing to death one WS from the reaper star, and poss two others from the triptides, more then likey one but still, 2 WS's a turn is good business. You also have a mobile anti-I sit in cover and annoy you-units, like pathfinders, scouts etc, something you dont want to waste your markerlights on. (also a target for the skrays once they have shot their loads with the SMS).

    i think the trip skyray is overkill for ap3 tbh, bar the alpha strike which can be mitgated slightly (reserving LOS etc) theres too many ap3 shots in there, think it would be better off with 2 skyrays and WS for the reapers.

    You know my thoughts on this anyway Andy but thought i;d throw it out there for the masses to mull over. As much as I have liked this list for a while now, and during list building i always come back to it, Tau and Eldar just arent the bandwagon for me!